The Rise and Fall of AC Milan Part 2 #801

The Dark Ages and the Birth of the Second Dynasty 

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In 1978 Massimino Giacomini led AC Milan to another title but they had to wait eight years following the departure of Rocco. It was a lone title in between to AC Milan dynasties the 1950s to 1970s and AC Milan’s second Dynasty as the greatest generation of AC Milan football would follow it. With three names that need no introduction Carlo Ancelotti Fabio Capello and Arrigo Sachi. From Rocco’s dominance, there was a 9-year spanned between titles. After AC Milan’s title in 1979, they had to wait another eight years for another Dynasty to be born. AC Milan certainly wasn’t dominant as they once were in an 18-year span AC Milan lifted two titles however the greatest Dynasty in club history was on the horizon even if it took time to get there. A dynasty eventually emerged in the late 80s but the road to get there was challenging as one of Europe’s best clubs even at the time ended up going through a very difficult transition. Somewhat to what they have been dealing with the last couple years in the modern-day. They won their 10th scudetto in the 1978-1979 season. That was the last Glory AC Milan supporters would have for quite a while. In fact, it would go the opposite direction as they endured some dark times. In the 1979 – 1980 season AC Milan was relegated. One of the darkest days in the history of the club something that didn’t even make logical sense. AC Milan was playing in Serie B with 10 scudetto 4 Coppa Italia and two European cups in their trophy cabinet. AC Milan was promoted the next season winning the league title in Serie B. This would not last very long in the 1981-1982 season they were relegated for a second time. Once again they came straight back up winning another league title in Serie B. It was truly Dark Times. Eventually, AC Milan started building their momentum as they seemed to be heading in the right direction. Over the next four seasons even though they were never a title Contender they kept themselves afloat at the top of Italian football. Those four years were about building a team for the future. They finished 6th, 5th, 7th, and 5th during that stretch. They’ve gone through such a rough. But fortunately, a dynasty was Rising Even though they didn’t know it yet. A man named Fabio Capello was the caretaker manager at the end of the previous season someone that would one day he looked at as one of the greatest managers in Italian football history. Replacing him in the 1987 – 1988 season was Arrigo Sacchi. Arrigo Sacchi took AC Milan to another level even though he only lifted the Scudetto once as manager of AC Milan it was a truly special team. Legendary AC Milan Defenders Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi a team that had Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten in the Midfield two of the most underrated players in football history. Marco van Basten could have been the best player of all time had he not been injured in his career. From Back to Front this team was loaded and was ready for the challenge that lied ahead. AC Milan ended up beating Napoli to the league title as well as qualifying for the European Cup the next season. Arrigo Sacchi took AC Milan away from Darkness. It seemed to be somewhat restored. The next year Inter Milan reclaimed the league title 12 points off AC Milan who ended up in third place. However, in Europe, they were a different type of animal. AC Milan had already conquered two European Cup under Rocco the aim was simple Arrigo Sacchi wanted to carry on that tradition. Marco van Basten carried AC Milan in the European Cup final beating Real Madrid Werder Bremen and Red Star Belgrade on the way to the final as they beat Romanian side Steaua Bucharest who had beaten Barcelona in the Champions League final just a few years before. However, AC Milan ran straight through them winning their third European Cup. The Following season and 1989-1990 Milan was just points from winning the league title but Napoli ended up lifting the trophy behind the Brilliance of Diego Maradona. However, AC Milan would get an opportunity to defend their European Cup as Marco van Basten continuously Led this team all the way through. Arrigo Sacchi prior to a return to the European Cup Final beat Johan Cruyff Barcelona in the European super cup as well as winning the Intercontinental cup. This was a team that lifted Trophies even before playing in the European Cup Final. They beat Benfica won the European Cup for the fourth time. Arrigo Sacchi took this team from obscurity to rediscovering the greatness of AC Milan winning back-to-back European Cups. Arrigo Sacchi never won the big one again but as long as he was in charge of AC Milan but they never finished below third during his time there. He did manage to pick up another InterContinental cup and a European super cup in 1990. Even though he only managed one league title but the success he had in Europe made him iconic in football history. how on Earth do you follow a manager that gave AC Milan two European cups? It seemed to like Arrigo Sacchi was impossible to replace.

 

 

 

 

Domestic Domaince: Fabio Capello  

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Their tradition would continue they ended up with a manager who was even better and more iconic. Fabio Capello in my estimation is the greatest manager in the history of Italian football he had been with AC Milan just for a short time before Sachi took over this time he would replace him. Fabio Capello took some Arrigo Sacchi philosophies and principles and implemented his own Touch of brilliance. He turned AC Milan into one of the most terrifying teams in European football. Satchi deserves a lot of credit but what Fabio Capello managed to do was remarkable. Fabio Capello’s AC Milan was even better than Sachi. AC Milan ran through the league being crowned champions without much difficulty in what was one of the best teams in Italian football history. In his first season as AC Milan manager, Fabio Capello went invincible going the entire league campaign without a loss. Only losing one game in all competitions in a semi-final Coppa Italia defeat to Juventus. Marco van Basten would at his very best At the time he was arguably the best player in the world. Who won the Ballon d’Or for the third time following his first season playing under Fabio Capello the 1991-1992 season belonged to AC Milan winning their 12th scudetto. In 1992-1993 capello’s impact on AC Milan only intensified. AC Milan won back-to-back League titles beating Inter Milan for the Scudetto as they lifted it for the 13th time. On top of that, they won the Super Copa Italiana and made it to the Champions League final, unfortunately, they ended up losing to Marseille. It did not stop the AC Milan machine that Capello was building. in the 1993-1994 season, Fabio Capello made it three in a row for AC Milan’s 14th title. They did this behind the best defense in the world. Paolo Maldini Franco Baresi as they had done consistently a year prior they continued to perform at a high-level making AC Milan seemed at times unbeatable. Capello did lose the super cup and the Continental cup but he got back to the Champions League final and this time AC Milan won it. It was against Johan Cruyff Barcelona. The Dutch genius is the most influential player in football history but the drama leading up to this particular Champions League final will be remembered for what he did not see. He said there’s no way that they would not beat AC Milan they got bully AC Milan ripped them to shreds in a 4-0 victory largely behind a heroic defensive performance as that signal Factor carried them throughout the entire season. In his first three seasons, Fabio Capello lifted 3 League titles went to two Champions League finals and winning won against one of the most iconic teams in history. Fabio Capello was becoming the best manager in the world what he was doing an AC Milan was only intensifying his historical run as AC Milan lifted a 5th European Cup. Fabio Capello’s 1993-1994 season the most incredible AC Milan team we’d ever seen. Not in terms of quality but in terms of what he was able to do with a squad that probably shouldn’t have won the European Cup. This team was led by their defense even though they had enough firepower to win the league and the Champions League it was the defense that carried them. Marco van Basten was the League’s best player and the best player in the world his injuries started to threaten his playing career he was unable to play. Capello was able to pull this improbable runoff against Johan Cruyff Barcelona without him with only furthermore legitimizes Fabio Capello’s impact in Italian football. The 1994-1995 season Cappello saw his winning streak of titles come to an end as AC Milan struggled as they finished fourth in the league despite a European super cup and a Supercopa they were unable to recreate success from the previous season. Marco van Basten’s continuous injuries were jeopardizing his career Marco van Basten missed the Champions League-winning season and the one that followed we would never see him on the pitch ever again. Which largely could it impacted Fabio Capello’s inability to conquer a fourth consecutive league title. In the 1995-1996 season, AC Milan brought in George Weah and Roberto Baggio an attempt to replace what Marco van Basten ultimately provided to the team. In Fabio Capello’s last season in Milan, he won his fourth scudetto. In a 5-year span, Fabio Capello won the scudetto 4 different times and went to two Champions League finals winning one of them. Following Fabio Capello’s last year in 1996-1997, AC Milan went through two managers including a return of Sachi in December. It was a disaster AC Milan went from 4 League titles in 5 years to finishing 11th in the league and unable to get out of a Champions League group stage that featured Rosenberg Porto and a team from Sweden. They finished outside of European places two years in a row finishing 11th and 10th. AC Milan managed to win a title under Alberto zaccheroni winning their 16th scudetto.

 

 

A.C Milan 3rd Dynasty: Carlo Angelotti  

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Following that title, it was another pair of 6th Place finishes in the early 2000s before  came Carlo Ancelotti. As AC Milan’s third Dynasty came to life at least a little bit. While they did not collect the same amount of Glory as Fabio Capello or Sachi Carlo Ancelotti continued the greatness of AC Milan. Although it didn’t happen immediately and he had to make some changes before he got the success he was hoping for. Carlo Angelotti’s AC Milan looked a bit different than Sachi & Capello. The irony of this is Carlo Ancelotti played for Sachi during his time at AC Milan and now it was his time to manage them A lot of pressure especially on a former player. Carlo Ancelotti’s team was still loaded though with the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Andriy Shevchenko still Paolo Maldini, Rui Costa, and Filippo Inzaghi as well as many others with Clarence Seedorf and Alessandro Nesta and Kaka joining later he was building a giant. Carlo Ancelotti in 2001-2002 season finishing fourth in the league. The next season in 2002-2003 Carlo Ancelotti led AC Milan to two trophies. This AC Milan team was largely influenced by Pirlo and Filippo Inzaghi even though they finished third in the league and at times it looked like they were going to conquer the League with an opportunity for a treble. They beat Roma in the Copa Italia and dealt with Inter Milan on the way to a Champions League final an all Italian final against Juventus as AC Milan won on penalties Carlo Ancelotti in his second season took the champions league and the Copa Italia. As they won their sixth Champions League trophy in the 2002-2003 season. In 2003-2004 AC Milan finally took care of business winning a league title for the first time since Fabio Capello. It was AC Milan’s 17th scudetto the times being relegated seemed ages ago as they truly were one of the most iconic clubs in all of Europe. They were unable to repeat the success from the year before Andriy Shevchenko continued to be the driving force AC Milan finished second and choked away a Champions League final after taking a three-goal lead against Liverpool before losing in a penalty shootout. However, they would get revenge beating Liverpool in a repeat of the Champions League final in 2006-2007 winning his second with AC Milan. Carlo Ancelotti while in charge of Milan won the league once the Coppa Italia and two Champions League trophies getting to three finals. the dynasty was more or less over.